How to use colour correcting concealers for every skin tone

Colour correcting — it’s the beauty buzzword that make-up artists everywhere are seriously into, and the latest product category we never knew we needed until now (obviously we’ve already bought three). If, like us, you’ve seen the tutorials and nabbed your colour correcting rainbow pastel palette, then all you need now is the know how.

We called on Em Rata’s go-to make-up artist Hung Vanngo, Max Factor’s very own Caroline Barnes and the man behind Rimmel’s new make-up movement, James Molloy, to give us the low down.

Here’s how to colour correct the right way (without looking like a multi-coloured clown by the time you’re done) so you can have the most flawless complexion in town.

Over to the pros…

Pure beauty with the dream team @billiescheepersphotography @adam_hairstylist @jessicathompsonnails #bleachbrow #freckles #skin #beauty #BTS

A post shared by James Molloy Makeup Artist (@jamesmolloymakeupartist) on Sep 12, 2017 at 5:12am PDT

What are colour correctors?

Colour correctors are concealers that are available in a range of colours, usually pastels, intended to help correct and conceal different skin issues. These most commonly include orange, purple and green shades that can be used to help neutralise unwanted blue/red tones in your skin and therefore, create a more flawless base for your make-up.

What colour correctors can you get?

“Colour correctors come in either solid or liquid forms, like the Max factor Colour Corrector ‘CC’ pens, or liquids”, says make-up artist Caroline Barnes. “Solid forms are much better because they allow more bespoke application and enable you to easily target specific areas of the face.”

Em Rata’s go-to make-up artist Hung Vanngo agrees, “I love Marc Jacobs Covert Stick Color Corrector. It comes in three shades that all help to conceal different complexion issues and suit different skin tones.”

So what’s the deal? How do we go about choosing the right colour corrector without looking like face paint gone wrong?

Here’s what you need to know about choosing the correct (sorry…) colour corrector for you…

Today’s skin prep @hylamide @skinceuticals @marcbeauty @byterryofficial #skin #beauty #prep #makeupartist #topproducts

A post shared by Caroline Barnes (@carolinebarnesmakeup) on Aug 17, 2017 at 3:33am PDT


What it does: violet/lilac tones help lift a dull complexion and sallow undertones, commonly found more so in Asian complexions.

Where you should apply it: areas of your face that need brightening – this can be on cheeks, forehead or chin.

gallery 1507561860 mjb covert stick bright now


What it does: any redness in the skin is neutralised by a green tone, this means that it will calm the intensity of a red undertone caused by pigmentation and rosacea.

Where you should apply it: on blemishes, rosacea, and redness.

Works best on… fair to mid skin tones, green can tend to look ashy on darker or olive skin tones.

TOP TIP: “I use a yellow corrector as a softer version of the classic green tone,” says Rimmel Global Make-Up Ambassador James Molloy, “If the skin is flushing pink or there’s a little violet in the undertone of the skin, a yellow corrector will even this out gently.”

 gallery 1507561802 max factor colour corrector stick the brightener counteracts lilac undertones 899


What it does: anything peachy/orangey will lift grey/blue undertones in your skin.

Where you should apply it: around your eyes (especially blue-toned eye bags) and for any dullness around your mouth.

Works best on… darker skin tones as it can look too warm on fair skin.

gallery 1507561965 dior fix it

What shade of colour corrector should you use depending on your skin tone?

For fair skin… pastel tones of peach, green and violet.

For medium tone/olive skin… warmer tones of peach and violet.

For dark skin… richer tones of orange and ochre.

gallery 1507561667 lr insta conceal correct shades final copy2

When should you apply a colour corrector?

The age old question, ok, not quite age old, but still a crucial part of getting your colour correcting right.

“I apply corrector first, then foundation and concealer last”, says Hung, and Barnes agrees, “I always apply colour correctors pre-make-up, as you’ll be able to use less concealer and foundation, allowing your skin to look fresher and less ‘made-up’.”

#speedbeautybycarolinebarnes Colour correcting undertones in your skin pre makeup allows you to apply a lighter more natural looking base. Although some are too green or too lilac and you end up putting more on to prevent your skin form looking green! Since trying the @marcbeauty #CO(VERT) I’m hooked as it does the job beautifully and effectively. The tones of green and gold blend into the skin seamlessly and really neutralise the redness. It’s the best I have ever tried! In this film I’m also wearing @kissproducts Impress nails, just on my ring finger. I’ve been slightly obsessed with sticking these nail designs onto my nails for a touch of colour. Sometimes I look at my hands and think am I being ridiculous but mostly I look and smile

What’s the best tool for applying a colour corrector?

As with any brightly coloured make-up product, the general rule is approach with caution and build up if you need more.

“I’d recommend using correctors as lightly as possible; especially the green or violet shades which can dramatically change the skin tone so a beauty blender or soft brush is best,” says Molloy.

Top tip: “I use a combination of fingers, as the warmth helps melt the product into your skin, with a face brush when applying to a larger area to gently build the coverage,” says Hung.

#NoMakeupMakeup look on beauteous @emrata today for @Dior show

What should you avoid when colour correcting?

Because mistakes can (and probably will) happen, get to know the warning signs for when you’ve been a little over-zealous with the lavender.

1. Don’t overload

“The classic mistake that most people make with colour correctors is overloading your skin with the different colours,” warns Caroline. “You only need a tiny amount of the colour corrector just on the area where it’s needed. The aim is not to block out the colour underneath completely but neutralise it so it’s easier to conceal on top of it.”

2. Check your tone

“Around the eye area can have many different undertones from blue to red”, says James. “Try a few corrector tones to see which best suits. If they turn ashy on the skin, a peach/orange colour corrector will generally do the job of knocking back any dark circles.”

Stunning profile – @olamideogundele @imgmodels With @billiescheepersphotography @adam_hairstylist @ncnails__ #beauty #BTS

A post shared by James Molloy Makeup Artist (@jamesmolloymakeupartist) on Aug 23, 2017 at 9:21am PDT


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